Biological Algorithms Group

Our mission is to identify simple paradigms of robust motility control and pattern formation in complex biological systems. We reverse-engineer biological solutions of robust control in close collaboration with experimental biologists. We use tools from physics, information theory, and engineering; likewise, we seek to excite bio-inspired applications of biological information processing in these fields.

We focus on principles of biological information processing in two model systems:

  1. Motility control: We study how noisy sensory information controls biological motility and dynamic decision making, e.g. during sperm navigation to the egg.
  2. Pattern control: We study elementary rules of self-organized pattern formation during self-repair and adaptation, e.g. of load-balancing transport networks in the liver.

On top of that, we explore potential applications of biological control designs in advanced electronics applications in tight collaboration with the other paths of the cfaed.

We are currently searching for highly motivated and talented students to work at the interface of physics and biology with a twist towards computer science.

Group News

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

handover of a scientic image print to Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger (Rector of TU Dresden)
Prof. Thomas Mikolajick (cfaed Speaker), Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger (Rector of TU Dresden), Christiane Kunath (cfaed designer), Prof. Benjamin Friedrich (Cluster of Excellence 'Physics of Life' / cfaed)

The rector of TU Dresden, Prof. Staudinger, receives a print of a diatom biomineral network taken by predoc Iaroslav Babenko at the opening of the cfaed exhibition 'Imaging Science' featuring artistic visualizations of cfaed's science. (c) Image: TUD / Kustodie.

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Boat trip with the team on the Elbe river past the rocks of Swiss Saxony.

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger, Rector of TU Dresden, hands over the certificate of appointment to Prof. Benjamin Friedrich
Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger, Rector of TU Dresden, hands over the certificate of appointment to Prof. Benjamin Friedrich, May 30, 2021.

Professor Benjamin Friedrich assumed the Heisenberg Professorship for Biological Algorithms at the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life on June 1, 2021. Prof. Friedrich had already headed the eponymous research group at the research cluster cfaed (Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden) since April 2016.

During a small ceremony on May 30, 2021, which was in keeping with the pandemic regulations, the Rector of TU Dresden, Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger, handed over the certificate of appointment to Prof. Friedrich. This ceremony was the official start signal for the professorship, which draws upon expertise in physics, engineering and biology. The tenure-track professorship “Biological Algorithms” is located at the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL) of TU Dresden and is associated with the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) and the Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB). In addition, Prof. Friedrich teaches at the Faculty of Physics.

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Sperm cells find egg cells better at physiological flow rates - according to our theory of sperm surfing along concentration filaments (and as suggested by previous experiments in marine invertebrate sperm):

https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008826

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

How can cells best estimate the direction of a concentration gradient from noisy measurements, when the gradient changes in time, say on time-scale τ? Bayes' rule: Average past measurements over a time-span ~√(τ/r), with r being a rate of information gain https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/abdb70

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Natalia will work on scaling of morphogen gradients, to understand how axolotl can regrow lost limbs. Welcome!

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

We welcome Dr. Rahul Ouseph Parambil Ramakrishnan to the group. Rahul will work on understandable reservoir computing together with the group of Marc Timme.

Chemokinetic Scattering, Trapping, and Avoidance of Active Brownian Particles

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

New Physical Review Letters on chemokinesis, providing a full theory of spatially inhomogeneous search, relevant for chemotaxis with noise: if you know a hidden target is close, but have no information on direction, how to search best?

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.118101

Published on in BIOLOGICAL ALGORITHMS (NEWS)

Steffen Lange leaves the team and is now research group leader of an ESF junior research group project. The project is called 'DataMedAssist' and examines innovative Data-Science methods for the Systems medicine, in particular assistance in the analysis of multicellular tissue organisation. Four PhD students are part of Steffens group belonging to Prof. Voss-Boehme at HTW Dresden.

We wish Steffen Lange good luck and a successful project!